Professional Pickleball: Why Your Company May Want to Start Advertising with the New League
Katryna Eastwood Account Director
Last summer as I was strolling through the aisles of Costco admiring all of the exciting summer products, I stumbled upon a beginner’s pickleball paddle set. I was aware of the sport and the pre-existing assumption behind it — a low-impact, the tennis-style game typically played amongst retirees. As a mid-twenty-year-old woman with an old soul, of course, I picked up a set for myself to see what the hype was about.
The Fastest Growing Sport
It became a summer addiction and I worked to convince friends to play with me at our local courts. We would go when the sun was down and the good players decided to go home, watching videos on our phones to learn new techniques and trying to mix up partner teams to find the perfect pairing. My friends and I were not alone in picking up an interest in this sport. The Sports & Fitness Industry Association dubbed pickleball the fastest growing sport, with participation up 39 percent between 2019 and 2021. Pickleball has become one of the fastest growing sports with an average of 4.8 million players in the U.S. Of course, with a captive audience waiting, a professional pickleball league was born and notable names are jumping on board.
Major League Pickleball (MLP) has gained attraction and interest from high-profile investors and league owners. For example, the AZ Drive owners include Dierks Bentley, Devin Booker and Larry Fitzgerald. D.C Pickleball Team owners include Eva Longoria, Kate Upton and Sam Porter. The list goes on and teams continue to form across the country, creating a media frenzy for this new professional sport. Big sponsors have recently stepped into the MLP league as well such as Margaritaville, HSS and Michelob Ultra. Even with the extensive growth and team activations, MLP is still in its infancy and the opportunity for advertising with the league could be at its prime. Should your brand be taking action and getting a foot in the door?
The answer is, probably.
If your brand is relevant to sports and leisure, MLP team and tournament sponsorships are still in low numbers. There are opportunities to become heavily involved and associated with the sport, but the types of brands that should take action are in more of a niche category. Unlike basketball or football, pickleball is known for being a more leisurely and less aggressive sport. This means players and fans of the sport are not seeking the same type of products as your traditional athlete. For example, a natural energy drink brand would most likely perform better with the pickleball crowd than a performance enhancer powder. It’s tricky to determine whether your brand could be a good fit, but if it is, this could be the time to get involved. Not sure if your brand fits the mold?
The following types of brands should take advantage of advertising with pickleball
Athletic and lounge wear, natural energy drinks or powders, kombucha, matcha, healthy snacks, active shoes, recovery equipment, alcohol, electrolyte drinks or powders, heart rate and fitness monitors, athletic bags and equipment, sunscreen, vitamins, sunglasses, goal setting apps and skin care.
If you’re looking for unique and relevant opportunities for your brand, we’re here to help you navigate the ever-changing trends. At Kinetic, we pride ourselves on being a strategic agency, constantly keeping ourselves updated on what’s new in the marketing world. We will assure that your brand is strongly developed and strategically optimized for success.
Contact Kinetic today to get your brand tapped into the pulse of what’s to come in marketing.
Katryna truly sprinkles a bit of sunshine (and a splash of humor) into all that she does. Not only is she a joy, she’s incredibly talented and brings the Kinetic team and our clients some seriously impressive experience. She’s worked for a variety of businesses, from start-ups to non-profits to Fortune 500 companies and specializes in creating imaginative and innovative branding and marketing strategies to companies, no matter the industry. With a background in writing, Katryna knows how to make words, especially from a digital marketing perspective, speak as loud as the accomplishments and ambitions of our clients. She cultivates kindness, promotes positivity and genuinely cares about who she works with and who she works for. Our Katryna brings a big heart and big thinking to our Kinetic clients every day!Read more about Katryna